When you arrive at Machu Picchu at the end of your trek, you will be standing on a steep ridge rising over a tropical montane jungle 2,430 metres above sea level. The scenery is just awe-inspiring. The scale of the construction and the genius of engineering to erect in this place as well as the striking natural setting are quite remarkable. Giant temples, walls, and houses have been sculpted into the stone itself and the encircling jungle has a huge variety of plants and animals.
Machu Picchu was erected around the fifteenth century but was jettisoned at the time the Spanish Conquistadores subdued the Inca in the sixteenth century. Up until 1911 when it was discovered again by Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu was to the rest of the world left unknown. Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail have since then turned big tourist attractions and gradually more of the structures have been reconstructed after more of the site has been cleared of forest. Even though the fast growing forest makes keeping the present cleared site free of bush a big task, the restoration work continues.
Machu Picchu was erected in the choice typical Inca style with dry-stone walls that are highly polished. Around a wide central square that is oriented east-west and thought to be a public worship place is arranged about 200 structures on extensive parallel terraces. In what archaeologists term the Sacred District of Machu Picchu, there are contained three massive edifices. These are the Room of Three Windows, the Sun’s Temple and the IntiWatana, (a ritual stone linked with the astronomic clock)
This site is unevenly divided into the lower town and the upper town as well as an agricultural sector and an urban sector. The warehouses are part of the lower town, the temples the upper. Sustaining Machu Picchu and its visitors needed a host of servants and workers and a massive quantity of food and the vast terraces were utilized for farming with an intricate irrigation system providing water for the fields.
As with other such sites, when you are scheduling the time to trek to Machu Picchu you have to make a balance between how busy it will be against how good the weather is likely to be.
Dodging The Crowds
With the permit system effective on the Classic Inca trail, the figures on the trek itself differ little through the year, as nearly every day is sold out. In February, the path is, in fact, closed for maintenance and repairs. The other Inca trails operated are all quite quiet throughout the year, so, in terms of hiking the numbers you can anticipate seeing on the path is not a big concern in determining when to go. The genuine issue is the actual site of the relics at Machu Picchu where nearly all visitors arrive by train and this disturbs all the trails equally. At the period of the major Northern Hemisphere holidays from June to August, the site is very crowded and even busier if you go on weekends. Therefore these months are best avoided if you desire to have some calm to relish the tour; As much as possible, avoid arriving at the relics on a weekend day if you must visit during this period.
Machu Picchu is rather near the equator and witnesses very little changes in temperature all through the year. Bigger temperature fluctuations are recorded daily and, the temperature will vary with altitude during the trek. Machu Picchu though lies in the subtropical Andes and this area has very a discrete wet and dry season. The dry season begins in May and runs through September with anticipated rain then increasing through February at the time it peaks. Rainfall during this time is typical of subtropical areas with warm sunlit periods punctuated by short sharp downpours. In summary, June to August are the best options for dry weather but the ruins will be most likely very crowded then. The shoulder periods are excellent times to visit if you can cope with a little rain. So, consider late April/May and September to October. Avoid December to March unless you really have no choice.
Visit Lake Titicaca
Lying between the peaks of Peru and Bolivia, Titicaca is one of the most scenic lakes on the planet. At over 3,800 metres, it is the highest lake one can navigate in the world and is a revered place for the Inca society, as their lore says that the Manco Capac, Inca’s first king, was birthed here. The best part of this enthralling zone is the astonishing floating islands of Uros sited a 2- hour boat journey from Puno. Built wholly from the rare type of huge bulrush called ‘totora’ which grows in the shallows of the lake, the natives still follow the traditions dating back centuries. Check out this website www.kandooadventures.com for further details about Machu Picchu.
Visit the Amazon Forest In Peru
The mere name Amazon invokes images of thick intact jungles, fabulous wildlife, and ancient tribes and either you are at the Amazon for just three days or more you will not depart dissatisfied. The Amazon Basin’s sheer scale is so wonderful, it is 40km across at its widest and overall twice India’s size. You will enjoy canoeing through the flood plains of the jungle, being woken in the forest by the cry of howler monkeys or the sound of a thousand birds. It is hard to spot wildlife but stunning when you do find it. The tribes that inhabit along the banks of the rivers are enthralling and the moment you relax into the Amazon’s beauty, you will depart with an unforgettable memory of one of the most distinctive locations on the planet.
Visit Colca CanyonAnd Hike Into The World's Deepest Canyon
Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA and with a river that lies some 4,160 metres below the rim at its bottom, the Colca Canyon is truly vast. The region is curiously fertile unlike the Grand Canyon and, one can see the natives farming here on the pre-Inca stepped terraces. Colca is also famous for the uncommon striking Andean Condors which can be viewed at close range as they fly past the walls of the canyon at 'Cruz del Condor'. Condors can weigh up to 12kg with a wingspan longer than 3 metres and have been known to live to 50 years old. Every trip to Colca Canyon begins from the stunning colonial city of Arequipa which lies at an altitude of 2,380 metres at the base of the now inactive Misti Volcano. We advise that you fly in from Lima and board the second flight to Cuzco after seeing the Canyon given the drive takes over 17 hours from Lima. Arequipa town is nicknamed the White City because it is built largely of white volcano stone. Together with a trekking tour of Arequipa, a hike into the canyon is a great approach to acclimatize before you start your trek to Machu Picchu.
Fly Over The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are what archaeologists call geoglyphs: patterns carved into the rocky ground creating enormous images. The Nazca lines are vast. Located some 400 km south of Lima in the arid Peruvian shoreline plain, they cover a region of around 450 sq. km. The lines, which were incised on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are amongst archaeology's utmost mysteries because of their size, nature, quantity, and continuity. The geoglyphs portray imaginary beings, geometric figures, stylized plants as well as living creatures many kilometres long. Their exact role is still widely argued. The choice approach to see them is to take a flight to view them from above and try to deduce the mystery for yourself.
To see the Nazca lines, you normally require 2-3 days, with an 8-hour bus ride from Lima. Nazca is also a good terminus if you plan to see the Colca Canyon in Arequipa. You could alternatively transit to Ica from Lima which is not as long as Lima to Nazca. You can then fly over the Nazca lines in Ica. This is a good choice for those who are short on time. Another benefit of transporting to Ica is that you can visit the Paracas National Reserve, Huacachina desert oasis and Ballestas Islands nearby. Ica also has some bodegas and pisco distilleries where you can go wine tasting.